To thunderous applause, the new class emerged from the smoke.
"I am proud to welcome you to the finest in this entire nation," said Mayor Tom Barrett.
It's been a long time coming for these new Milwaukee firefighters. More than two years ago, these 22 recruits didn't know each other. Today, recruit Jessica Olson says they have become a family.
"First coming in I wasn't sure, but now I see them all the time, they're my best friends," Olson says.
Family runs deep in his graduating class. Olson wasn't sure a career in firefighting was something she wanted to do, but now she is following in her father's footsteps.
"My dad was really happy throughout his career on Milwaukee Fire, so it can't hurt."
Joshua Grams also following his father. They will now both wear the badge with honor.
"I knew this was for me, I absolutely loved it, been talking to my dad every day after he come home from work. Not one time did he come home complaining about the job and saying it was bad."
This class of brave men and women are prepared to face danger head-on, and they're now part of a 140-year tradition in Milwaukee.